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Four Roses Small Batch Review: Everything to know!

Discover everything about the Four Roses Small Batch Bourbon in this in-depth review that answers all your related questions!

Four Roses Small Batch tasting notes: How does it taste?

NoseVanilla, cherry, oak
PalateVanilla, oak, baking spice
FinishLong, burnt caramel
Alcohol content90 proof (45% ABV)
How to drinkAdd water
Similar toGentleman Jack, Angel’s Envy

The nose is mostly sweet with hints of vanilla, cherry and wood.

On the palate, the Four Roses displays a good creamy body, is rich in vanilla, caramel and rye spice with a faint oaky note.

The finish is long, with very little burn with a nice hint of burnt caramel.

Four Roses Small Batch Bourbon rating: Is it Good?



The Four Roses Small Batch nicely balances sweet and spicy flavors coming from rye and is packed with enjoyable hints. 

Creamy and smooth with just the right amount of spice making a great sipper.

There is no need to add ice or a drop of water to tune it down as it goes down with no harshness.

If you have already tried the Four Roses Yellow Label you will find the Small Batch to be a vast improvement.

It is more tasty and smoother while still providing great value for the money and a satisfying daily drinker.

How to drink Four Roses Small Batch?

Add water or in cocktails

  • Adding a dew drops of water releases a bit of caramel making it easier to sip.
  • Adding ice just chills it but does not release caramel.
  • I’m not that fond of using it to make cocktails at a price in which I’m not comfortable. Market is flooded with good whiskeys to mix at a deep discount.

Four Roses Small Batch: Mash bill

Made from a mash high in rye

The Small Batch is made from a blend of four different Kentucky bourbons:

Two of the bourbons are made from of a mash of 60% corn, 35% rye and 5% malted barley, while the other two bourbons are comprised of a mash of 75% corn, 20% rye and 5% malted barley.

The high rye content is what provides the rich spicy note but it does not overwhelm, quite the opposite, as it makes it more satisfying.

Four Roses Small Batch: Age

Around 4 years

Each bourbon is aged for a minimum of 4 years at a one-story rickhouse.

Is it chill-filtered?


The Small Batch is a chill-filtered whiskey as most offerings at this price range.

If you want to try a non chill-filtered bourbon try the Four Roses Small Batch Select, which is besides bottled at a higher proof providing a bolder experience.

Four Roses Small Batch: Alternatives

Bulleit Bourbon & Four Roses Single Barrel


The Four Roses is quite similar to the Bulleit Bourbon as they are both made from a mash high in rye. The difference lies in the Four Roses providing a more refined and polished taste making a nicer sipper.

The Four Roses Single Barrel is one well worth looking at as it delivers a tastier experience. This bourbon is not only good, it’s also the best Four Roses Bourbon and one of the best Single Barrel whiskeys to buy.

I’ve compiled a long list of bourbons that serve as alternatives to the Four Roses Small Batch that you should look into.

Is it good for beginners?

Not the best

I recommend easier bourbon to newbies such as the Maker’s Mark which might be a bit boring and bland but serves as a better rite of passage.

The Buffalo Trace is also easier to sip as it’s very light on the spice and has virtually no burn; hence it’s incredible popularity.

Four Roses Small Batch: Price

Prices are approximate and stated in local currency:

United States$40

Four Roses Small Batch: Alcohol content

90 proof (45% ABV)

Bottled at 90 proof which is the minimum at which bourbon should be bottled, IMO.

Below that you are basically drinking a watered-down dram.

Does it expire?

Alcoholic beverages do not expire

It will last for years as long as you store it in a cool place and away from the sunlight.

I strongly suggest drinking it ASAP once the content is down to 25% as liquors start developing awkward notes past this level.

How is it made?

Made from a blend of four different bourbons, each distilled at the Four Roses Distillery in Lawrenceburg, KY.

Two of the bourbons are comprised of a mash of 60% corn, 35% rye and 5% malted barley, while the other two bourbons are comprised of a mash of 75% corn, 20% rye and 5% malted barley.

Each of the bourbons is fermented with a unique, proprietary yeast culture used to bring about a specific flavor in the bourbon.

After distillation, the bourbons are aged for at least four years at a one-story rickhouse maintained near the distillery.

While most distilleries age bourbon in warehouses that are many stories high, Four Roses ages its bourbon in a one-story warehouse to ensure that each barrel is aged in a similar environment.

After aging, the barrels are hand-picked and then married together.

Four Roses Distillery

If you ever visit the state of Kentucky take the time to visit the Four Roses Distillery.

Built in 1910 to resemble the architecture of California wineries, the distillery is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Four Roses Small Batch: Cheat Sheet

Type of WhiskyBourbon
Age statementAround 4 years
Is it good?Yes
Is it top-shelf?No
Does it expire?No
Good for beginners?No
Good for cocktails?Not the best
Good with Coke?No
Calories per shot108